Zavkhan (/ˈzhɑːn, -kɑːn/; Mongolian: Завхан, romanized: Zawhan, pronounced [ˈt͡saw̜χəɴ]) is one of the 21 aimags (provinces) of Mongolia, located in the west of the country, 1,104 km from Ulaanbaatar. Its capital is Uliastai. The aimag is named after the Zavkhan River, which forms the border between Zavkhan and Gobi-Altai aimag.

Zavkhan Province
Завхан аймаг
Khar Lake from the International Space Station, 2006
Flag of Zavkhan Province
Coat of arms of Zavkhan Province
Coordinates: 48°0′N 96°15′E / 48.000°N 96.250°E / 48.000; 96.250
Established1931 (1931)
 • Total82,455.66 km2 (31,836.31 sq mi)
1,886 m (6,188 ft)
 • Total72,104
 • Density0.87/km2 (2.3/sq mi)
 • TotalMNT 652 billion
US$ 0.2 billion (2022)
 • Per capitaMNT 8,856,280
US$ 2,836 (2022)
Time zoneUTC+7
Area code+976 (0)146
ISO 3166 codeMN-057
Vehicle registrationЗА_

Environment edit

Boards used for prayer towards the sacred mountain Otgontenger, from a viewing point 15km outside of Uliastai, Zavkhan aimag, Mongolia

Locally, Zavkhan's environment is considered "Gobi-Khangai" (Говь хангай), since it connects the Gobi Desert in the south with the western Khangai Mountain Range and the broad lake basin of Khovd aimag.

The highest peak in the province is Otgontenger (Отгонтэнгэр, lit. "youngest sky") both the highest (4,031 m) and only peak in the Khangai range capped with a permanent glacier. The mountain is located in the 95,510 hectare Otgon Tenger Strictly Protected Area, about 60 km east of Uliastai. An image of the mountain can be seen on the aimag's coat of arms. Otgontenger is associated with the Bodhisattva Ochirvaani (Очирваань).

The western and south-western regions of Zavkhan contain the massive Bor Khyarin Els sand dunes that stretch for over 100 km within the Zavkhan, down into Gobi-Altai aimag. One of the largest lakes in Zavkhan, Bayan Nuur (баян нуур, "rich lake") is nestled among the dunes.

Climate edit

Zavkhan has some of the coldest winter temperatures in Mongolia. It has even been known to snow in summer. In Tosontsengel, the largest sum in Zavkhan, winter temperatures as low as −52.9 °C (−63.2 °F) have been recorded. That sum also holds the record for the highest mean sea level barometric pressure ever recorded on Earth 1,085.7 hectopascals or 32.061 inches of mercury, measured on 19 December 2001.[2]

Most precipitation falls in the summer months as rain, with some snow in the adjacent months of May and September. Winters are typically very dry.

Wildlife edit

Aside from having massive livestock populations, Zavkhan's broad ecological regions and deep forests are home to a diverse population of wildlife: Gobi bears, Mongolian khulans, wild boars, spotted deers, argali, wild goats, ibexes, Mongolian wolves, Corsac foxes, marmots, mongooses, Eurasian lynxes, hares, and both Mongolian and goitered gazelle.

Many forest, mountain and migratory birds can be found in the aimag, including rare snowcocks and bobwhites, as well as swans, vultures, falcons and hawks.

Fishing is a popular pastime in Zavkhan. Khar Nuur and Bayan Nuur lakes are rich with fish, and many of the hundreds of smaller rivers throughout the province provide decent fishing.

Population edit

Population growth in Zavkhan aimag stopped in 1994, then migration out of the aimag (approx. 40,000 in 1995-2005) reduced its population to the end of 1979 level. The majority of the population is ethnic Khalkha but there are sizable Khotgoid and Kazakh minorities.

Zavkhan aimag population[3][4] [5]
55,100 61,000 60,000 70,800 76,000 79,800 81,700 88,500 91,960 102,834 103,150 102,341 100,905 87,686 83,516 78,668 76,614

Notable natives and residents edit

The Government Administration Building - Uliastai, Zavkhan aimag, Mongolia (A statue of Zavkhan-born, Mongolian Army General, Batiindorj is in the foreground)
  • Punsalmaagiin Ochirbat, First President of Mongolia (1990-1997)
  • Natsagiin Bagabandi, Second President of Mongolia (1997-2005)
  • S. Damdinbazar Mongolian Jalkhanz Khotagt (Жалханз Хутагт, "reincarnated saint") Independence activist and Prime Minister of Mongolia (1922-1923)
  • Begziin Yavuukhulan, Soviet Poet
  • B. Jamsranjav, Mongolian Saint, Lama
  • S. Chimedtseren, Mongolian Saint, Lama

Economy edit

Herders breed each of the "5 Kinds" (5-н хошуу мал)of animal in Zavkhan. In 2005, the aimag was home to 2,1 million head of livestock, among them 1,03 million sheep, 861,000 goats, 107,000 cattle and yaks, 101,000 horses, and 6,300 camels.[6]

The area is also rich with mineral resources such as iron ore, tin, gold, copper, diamonds, molybdenum ore, and phosphorite. While Zavkhan's mineral wealth remains largely been unexploited, in 2012 the Golden Hill Project mine was built by Bayan Airag Exploration LLC outside of Durvuljin soum. [7]

Transportation edit

Passengers boarding a propeller plane to Ulaanbaatar at Donoi Airport (Uliastai) Zavkhan, Mongolia.

The old Uliastai Airport has two unpaved runways and is located close to the city, but it has no regular flights operating. Since 2002, the Donoi Airport (or "New Uliastai Airport") with one unpaved runway is located about 25 km west of the city and gets served by regular flights to and from Ulaanbaatar.

Administrative subdivisions edit

Sums of Zavkhan
The Sums of Zavkhan Aimag
Sum Mongolian Population [8](2005)
Aldarkhaan Алдархаан 3,708
Asgat Асгат 1,125
Bayankhairhan Баянхайрхан 1,968
Bayantes Баянтэс 3,024
Dörvöljin Дөрвөлжин 2,323
Erdenekhairkhan Эрдэнэхайрхан 1,771
Ider Идэр 2,714
Ikh-Uul Их-Уул 6,271
Nömrög Нөмрөг 1,848
Otgon Отгон 3,478
Santmargats Сантмаргац 2,101
Shilüüstei Шилүүстэй 2,450
Songino Сонгино 1,921
Telmen Тэлмэн 2,820
Tes Тэс 3,230
Tosontsengel Тосонцэнгэл 9,045
Tsagaanchuluut Цагаанчулуут 1,496
Tsagaankhairkhan Цагаанхайрхан 1,823
Tsetsen-Uul Цэцэн-Уул 2,114
Tüdevtei Түдэвтэй 2,003
Uliastai * Улиастай 15,742
Urgamal Ургамал 1,822
Yaruu Яруу 2,547
Zavkhanmandal Завханмандал 1,324
* The aimag capital is Uliastai

References edit

  1. ^ "GROSS DOMESTIC PRODUCT, by region, aimags and the Capital". Mongolian Statistical Information Service. Retrieved 2023-12-06.
  2. ^ "Highest Sea Lvl Air Pressure Above 750m". 2001-12-19. Retrieved 2013-01-13.
  3. ^ National Statistical Office Archived June 7, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ National Economy of the Mongolian People's Republic (1921 - 1981), Ulaanbaatar 1981
  5. ^ Zavkhan Aimag Statistic Office Annual Report 2008 Archived July 22, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ Zavkhan Aimag: official website Archived July 7, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ Bayan Airag Exploration LLC: official website
  8. ^ Zavkhan Aimag: Сумдын Танилцуулга Archived November 1, 2008, at the Wayback Machine (Introduction to the Sums)